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Gloria La Riva Ballot Status Exceeds Evan McMullin?s Ballot Status (September 25, 2016, 06:25 PM)

Gloria La Riva, presidential nominee of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, will be on more November 2016 ballots than will Evan McMullin, the independent presidential candidate backed by anti-Trump Republicans. La Riva’s name will be on ballots used by 20.9% of the voters, whereas McMullin’s name will be on ballots used by 15.66% of the voters.

The basis for this calculation is the presidential vote in November 2012. No one can know the number of voters in each state in November 2016, so the the number of votes cast in each state in November 2012 is used as an approximation.

Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, and Donald Trump will be on ballots used by all voters. Jill Stein will be on ballots used by 89.4% of voters. Constitution Party nominee Darrell Castle will be before 39.3% of the voters. Rocky De La Fuente will be before 26.4% of the voters. Alysson Kennedy of the Socialist Workers Party will be before 13.7% of the voters. No other presidential candidate’s name will be before as many as 5% of the voters.

It is conceivable that the shares for De La Fuente, La Riva, and McMullin could rise if they win various lawsuits, but it is unlikely any court will add any more names to ballots, even if the lawsuits eventually result in striking down certain state ballot access laws and practices.


Arkansas Secretary of State Removes Tom Hoefling from Ballot for President (September 25, 2016, 01:37 PM)

The Arkansas Secretary of State has removed Tom Hoefling from the presidential ballot, because his independent petition did not list a vice-presidential nominee. Hoefling is the America’s Party presidential nominee. When he circulated his Arkansas petition, he did not yet know who his running mate would be.

It is odd that the Secretary of State checked Hoefling’s petition, found it to be valid, and said on August 11 that Hoefling would be on the ballot. One would think that if the petition was insufficient because it didn’t list a vice-president, this would have been obvious when the petition was handed in, and it would have been rejected at that time.

Arkansas let independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson switch vice-presidential nominees in 1980. However, back in 1980, Arkansas did not require any petition for an independent presidential candidate. Such candidates got on the Arkansas ballot simply by writing a letter. This was true for the period 1980 through 1996. Before 1980 Arkansas had no procedures for independent presidential candidates to get on the ballot. So there are no previous precedents concerning vice-presidential substitution for Arkansas independent petitions.

It is unfortunate that Hoefling did not know that he could have circulated a minor party presidential petition in Arkansas, a petition that needs 1,000 signatures (the same requirement as for independent presidential petitions, with the same August 1 deadline). That petition need not name any candidates; it just names the party and asks that it be qualified for the presidential election.

Arkansas acted in a similar way for Rocky De La Fuente as well. First the state checked his petition, and listed him on the web page, but later the Secretary of State removed him because De La Fuente had run in the Arkansas Democratic presidential primary this year.


Socialist Party is Only Party, Besides Republicans and Democrats, to File for Guam Advisory Presidential Vote (September 25, 2016, 12:25 PM)

Starting in 1980, Guam has voted for President in November, even though Guam has no electoral votes. The Guam Election Commission always prints the Democratic and Republican national tickets on its November ballot automatically. It also puts other tickets on the ballot, simply by request. This year, the only third ticket is the Socialist Party’s ticket. See the Guam ballot here. The presidential part is near the bottom. The Socialist Party presidential candidate’s name is Emidio Soltysik, but the ballot omits the “i” in his surname.

Most minor party and independent tickets ignore the Guam presidential vote. Ross Perot never asked to be on the Guam ballot, nor has the Green Party. Ralph Nader was on Guam in 2004 but not any other year. Generally the Libertarian Party ticket is on, but not this year.

The highest percentage of the vote anyone outside the two major parties ever received in Guam was John Anderson in 1980. He got 954 votes, which was 3.78%, lower than his percentage in any of the 50 states except Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Thanks to Walter Ziobro for the link.


Politico Web Page for November 8 Presidential Election Returns Seems Already Set Up, and Apparently Plans to List Only Four Candidates (September 24, 2016, 03:51 PM)

Politico is a very good source for election night vote returns. It appears that Politico has already set up its presidential election night vote returns web page, and that it will only include Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Donald Trump. For example, see the Louisiana page, which only lists those four, even though Louisiana has eleven presidential candidates on the ballot.


Alaska Can?t Print Ballots in One Legislative District Because Primary Recount Still Isn?t Settled (September 24, 2016, 12:45 PM)

According to this story, the dispute over the identity of the winner of the Democratic primary for Alaska’s state house district 40 won’t be settled until early October. The primary was August 15. The two-person contest was very close and a court is holding a trial to determine the winner.


Utah Debate Commission Holds One-Candidate Event for the Republican Nominee for Attorney General; Refuses to Allow Libertarian to be the Other Participant Even Though He was Present (September 24, 2016, 12:19 PM)

The Utah Debate Commission is composed of news organizations and the state’s public and private universities. It is chaired by the head of the Utah Republican Party and the Utah Democratic Party. Here is information about the Commission, which is obviously modeled on the Presidential Debate Commission.

It scheduled a televised debate for the evening of Wednesday, September 21, at Dixie State University, for the Democratic and Republican candidates for Attorney General, Jon Harper and Sean Reyes. Libertarian nominee W. Andrew McCullough, who was at 5% in the polls, was deemed not to meet the requirement to be invited, but McCullough was in the audience before the event started.

The event organizers were very surprised to hear that the Democratic nominee would not be appearing because he had decided to drop out of the race, for health reasons. But even though McCullough was present, the Commission still refused to allow him on the state. Instead, they let the Republican nominee consume the entire time for the event. One-person debates sponsored by corporations are illegal campaign contributions, at least for federal office, although this event concerned a state office. See this story.


Maryland Deadline Victory Confirmed (September 24, 2016, 01:09 AM)

As noted earlier, on August 26, the Maryland State Board of Elections conceded that a 2015 law requiring independent candidates to file a declaration of candidacy in February is unconstitutional. The concession had come after an independent candidate for Baltimore city council, Dan Sparaco, had sued to overturn the requirement. That case was Sparaco v Lamone, 1:16cv-1579.

However, on August 25, two other candidates for Baltimore city council in the same district had sued the State Board of Elections to protest the Board’s concession in the Sparaco lawsuit. That new lawsuit was Schlakman v Maryland State Board of Elections, 1:16cv-2968.

But, on September 20, the Judge who was handling both cases dismissed the Schlakman lawsuit, so that the good precedent established by the Sparaco lawsuit will stand.


Lewis & Clark County, Montana, Will Reprint 56,000 Ballots in Order to Add New Libertarian Nominee for U.S. House (September 23, 2016, 10:56 PM)

According to this story, just one county in Montana, Lewis & Clark, will reprint 56,000 ballots because the Libertarian Party nominee for U.S. House died last week and the party was permitted to replace him with a new nominee. Lewis & Clark is one of Montana’s more populated counties, and includes the state capitol, Helena. The story does not say how many other counties must reprint ballots.


Leonid Bershidsky Essay on Why Two Parties Aren?t Enough for the U.S. (September 23, 2016, 10:48 PM)

Bloomberg has this essay by Leonid Bershidsky, about why two political parties aren’t enough for the United States. Bershidsky suggests that for the United States, a transition to using Instant Runoff Voting is more likely than that the U.S. would switch to proportional representation.


Helsinki Accords Organzation, OSCE, Plans to Send 500 Foreign Observers to Evaluate U.S. Election (September 23, 2016, 10:40 PM)

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) plans to send 500 election observers to the United States, to evaluate the November 8 election. These observers would include Canadians as well as Europeans. See the web page of OSCE about its plans for U.S. observations.

In 2012, OSCE only sent 44 observers. OSCE feels there are so many problems with U.S. elections, it needs more observers. Of course the U.S. is a member of OSCE and U.S. observers regularly observe elections in other nations that are part of OSCE. Thanks to Election Administration Reports for the link.


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